How to Donate Real Estate to a City

If you have real estate you are tired of paying taxes on and are unable to sell, consider donating the real estate to the city where you live. While you can offer the property to any city, typically your municipality will have more use for it than a city in another part of the state or country. Not only will the real estate donation prevent you from continuing to pay property taxes, but you can write the donation off on your income taxes.


Step 1

Confirm that the land has no other owners or liens. Visit your local courthouse or government website to perform a deed search. If there are other owners or liens on the property, the registry of deeds lists any other parties with an interest in the real estate.

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Step 2

Have the real estate appraised. If the property is worth less than $5,000, you can provide the city with an estimate of the property's value. If the property is worth more than $5,000, you must pay for a certified appraisal.


Step 3

Download Form 8283 from the Internal Revenue Service. Without the Noncash Charitable Donation Form, you cannot claim a deduction on your taxes.


Step 4

Contact your city government offices to inquire about the process of donating real estate. Cities such as St. Louis require that you fill out a form when donating real estate.

Step 5

Return the form and pay any title insurance and recording fees charged by the city.


If you are not the sole owner of the land, you must get the signatures of all of the other owners to donate the real estate.


Depending on the value of the property, you may not be able to deduct its total fair-market value.

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